Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Andy meets the fowl Mrs. Fowler (Marjorie Gateson)
ANDY HARDY MEETS DEBUTANTE (1940). Director: George B. Seitz.

"Who was it who said only last Sunday that the epistles were the wives of the apostles?" -- Polly Benedict to Andy.

Andy Hardy (Mickey Rooney), who works on the high school paper, has a massive crush on a New York debutante named Daphne (Diana Lewis). Andy has implied to everyone that he actually knows the young lady, so when it develops that he's going to visit New York for some of his father's (Lewis Stone) legal business, he is importuned to have his picture taken with her. Andy tries his best to get to know Daphne, but in an infuriating scene he is ever-so-gently shown the door by her terribly condescending mother (Marjorie Gateson of Lily Turner), who thinks he's just not their kind. Still contriving to meet Daphne, Andy goes to the veddy fashionable Club Sirocco with only eight dollars in his pocket, then orders the "special" -- starting off with caviar! In the meantime Betsy Booth (Judy Garland), who's had a crush on Andy ever since Love Finds Andy Hardy, gets some help in that department from -- who else? -- her old friend Daphne Fowler. [Talk about fantasies!] Humiliated by his experience in the Sirocco, Andy becomes deeply depressed that he's not good enough for society, and tells his father -- who tries to wake him up -- that "he's just a small-town judge that nobody's ever heard of." His father has his own troubles when he takes on New York lawyers in a case involving an estate versus an orphanage and is (temporarily) blown off. Naturally everything works out in the end. Andy Hardy Meets Debutante -- the "a" is missing from the title because it's meant to sound like a newspaper headline -- is another irresistible Hardy picture, with Mickey Rooney and Garland in top form, and a swell supporting cast. Garland does a semi-comical version of "Alone" [from A Night at the Opera]; Beezy (George Breakston) is still dating Cynthia (although Lana Turner is not seen]; and the little orphan boy, Francis (Clyde Willson) is adorable. Cy Kendall [Borrowing Trouble] plays the owner of the Sirocco and is adequate.

Verdict: Can't beat Rooney and Garland. ***.


angelman66 said...

I wish Garland and Rooney had made a few more Andy Hardy pictures together...Betsy should have married Andy in the end!

When, years later, Mickey returned in Andy Hardy Comes Home, a reunion with Garland would have been fun..but it didn't happen. At least Judy invited Mickey on her 1960s CBS show as her very first guest.

Cheers, Bill, thanks for highlighting these wonderful classic films...I hope they will live on forever.

Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

Oh, I always love an Andy Hardy movie... Each one is endearing, heartwarming,... The Hardy family just seems so real! Thank you for sharing this one!

William said...

Thanks for your comments. Chris, I think back in the day (long before both of us were born) the audience was hoping Betsy would land Andy, but it never happened. I can't quite imagine her in "Andy Hardy Comes Home" but it certainly would have been interesting!

As I've often said, our new technology, including DVDs and cable and the Internet has actually brought the past back. You can find old movies, TV shows, comics, and so on that most of us thought we'd never get to see. Amazing! I imagine 100 years from now most of these old treasures will still be available.

"Net," glad you like the Hardy films, too!